Warriors spear the Indians in fierce battle


Courtesy of Erin Belmar

#12 Imad Strozier runs along the sidelines looking for room to run while getting blocks from multiple teammates.

Michael Smith, Sports editor

On Friday, September 17, the NC football team traveled down to Sharpsburg, Georgia to play the East Coweta Indians. After missing several open chances and allowing a couple of late, long drives, NC held off the Indians for an 18-12 victory.

After a convincing offensive start, the East Coweta offense fizzled out and gave the ball to the Warrior offense. The Warrior offense forcefully ran the ball down to the 35 yard line, where senior receiver Imad Strozier reversed field on a sweep and pushed the ball down to the ten yard line. The Warriors brought the ball down to the two yard line, but a bad snap and a quick sack on second and third down forced the Warriors into kicking a field goal.

The Indians fumbled the ball on the next drive, and NC took a shot at the end zone, but with starting receiver Drew Tejchman down, quarterback Will Lovett overthrew Tejchman’s backup, Trenton Johnson. Three plays later, however, senior running back CJ Cole took a hand off 15 yard for a touchdown, putting the Warriors up 10-0.

The NC defense continued to shut out East Coweta in the second quarter, but the Warriors failed to push the ball downfield until the final few minutes of the second quarter, where Lovett moved the offense down to the 30 yard line. On third down and long, Lovett threw a beautiful ball to junior Delshaun Harris, who started at receiver in place of injured senior  Quannie Green. Harris jumped clear over the Indian corner, but let the ball slide through his hands. Following an East Coweta timeout, kicker Will Horton missed a kick wide left, and the Indians took a knee to head into halftime.

To start the third quarter, the Warriors pounded the ball down the field, but Cole fumbled on the East Coweta one yard line. The Indians avoided a safety, then drove the ball the length of the field to score their first points of the game on a wild cat sweep.

East Coweta snuck an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, and gained possession near the fifty yard line. Neither team made anything out of the ensuing drives, until the referees called an intentional grounding penalty on East Coweta in the end zone, giving NC a safety and the ball with great field position. With the clock winding down, the Warrior offense drove the ball down into the red zone, where Lovett pulled a hand off and knocked his way in for a touchdown. The Warriors failed on the two point conversion, but when East Coweta regained possession the run first offense trailed 18-6 with only a minute and a half left in the game. The Indians managed to drive the field and throw a jump ball touchdown, but did so with no time left on the clock and no chance to score the required second touchdown.

Coach Shane Queen felt excited after knocking off a premier opponent even with an injured roster and a multitude of self-inflicted errors: “That was a great win over a great team, and we’re going to be scary if we can get everything in sync.”

Next week, the Warriors will host the Pebblebrook Falcons in an attempt to improve to 4-1 on the season in the final game before NC kicks off region play.